World rapid chess championship: Abdusattrov wins crown; Tie-break rule leaves Carlsen fuming

Abdusattrov seeded 59th, shocked overnight leader Carlsen and went to stun Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in the blitz tie-breaker to emerge as the champion.

Chessboard

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Abdusattrov beat Caruana, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi to win the title.   -  Getty Images

Dethroned champion Magnus Carlsen’s tongue-lashing of World Chess Federation (FIDE) over the “completely idiotic” tiebreak rules to decide the World rapid chess title could not take away the sheen from 17-year-old Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov’s sensational title-triumph at Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday.

The youngster, seeded 59th, shocked overnight leader Carlsen and went to stun Ian Nepomniachtchi 1.5-0.5 in the blitz tie-breaker to emerge as the champion.

The drama began following a four-way tie for the title after 13 rounds. Adbusattorov, Nepomniachtchi, Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana tallied 9.5 points but the championship rules allowed for a playoff involving only the top two players.

“When you have a playoff for first place, you have to let all the players with the same amount of points join the playoff. Anything else is just plain wrong,” pointed out Carlsen.

Later, Carlsen acknowledged the youngest champion in the history of the competition by stating, “Squabbles about the rules aside, what an absolutely incredible achievement!”

After all, the young Uzbek’s victims included Caruana, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Carlsen, in successive rounds.

Among the Indians, D. Gukesh came up with a sterling performance to tie for the fifth spot before finishing ninth, at 9 points. Rated 2050, Gukesh performed at a phenomenal 2753 by beating Gelfand, Jobava
Baadur before missing a certain win in the drawn game against Abdusattorov and letting Alexander Grischuk off the hook.

Similarly, in the women’s section, K. Humpy let champion Alexenda Kosteniuk escape with a draw in the ninth round and eventually finished sixth.

Final standings: 1-4. Nodirbek Adbusattorov (Uzb), Ian Nepomniachtchi (CFR), Magnus Carlsen (Nor) and Fabiano Caruana (USA) (9.5 each); 5-11. Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Pol), Levon Aronian (USA), Hikaru Nakamura
(USA), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Aze), D. Gukesh, Richard Rapport (Hun) and Sergey Karjakin (CRF) (9 each).

Indians’ final standings:

Open (from 13 rounds): 9. D. Gukesh (9 points), 15. Mitrabha Guha (8.5), 45. Vidit Gujrathi, 55. Abhimanyu Puranik (7.5 each), 60. Harsha Bharathakoti, 64. S. L. Narayanan, 65. Nihal Sarin, 70. Sankalp
Gupta (7 each), 99. P. Harikrishna (6.5), 110. Arjun Erigaisi (6), 127. Raunak Sadhwani (5.5) and 164. Aditya Mittal (4).

Women (from 11 rounds): 6. K. Humpy (7.5), 14. R. Vaishali (7), 38. Vantika Agrawal (6) and 49. Padmini Rout (5.5).

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